The longer I write, the less judgmental I become about names. Don’t get me wrong – many still astound me. While researching the upcoming Tate, I stumbled across Tatelyn, a name that seems appropriate only for the firstborn daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.

And yet, Charlotte recently mentioned Lecandro – surely the invention of a creative mama – and I found myself liking it quite a bit.

Maybe it is that I’ve found there’s a backstory for nearly any name. Or possibly I’m far more aware that my own opinions have changed over the years. Two decades ago, Finn would’ve been a shark reference, destined to hear the low strings of Jaws. Today he’s among the most fashionable of names, even before Glee ricocheted him to wider notice.

And the name news:

  • I’ve been meaning to post this ever since Kim sent it my way: Wee Decor posts lists of names parents have ordered on nursery wall art. Check out their Summer 2010 list here. Dario, Allica, and Juddefrey are all gracing the name of a nursery somewhere. But hey, if you love it enough to put it on a birth certificate, why not put it on a wall;
  • Or chisel it on a stone(age) wall. Nancy tells us that in the 1960s, some parents went prehistoric and named their daughters Pebbles shortly after the animated series adding a daughter;
  • Check out For Real’s list of baby names featuring alliteration – though some of these go too far. Alexis Alexandra and Coleton Cole both feel repetitive. Ava Autumn is lovely, and I kind of like Elijah Ezra, too;
  • Speaking of how close is too close, I’m intrigued by this post at You Can’t Call It “It” about twins named Claire Emerson and Ellis Catherine … or maybe something else entirely;
  • Even if you read zero Dutch, you can pick out the names Emma posted from Benelux’s Next Top Model. I ran the page through Google Translate to confirm – there apparently is a contestant named Epiphany;
  • Here’s a quick check at the box office. Besides the animated owl sibset I mentioned on Facebook – Soren and Eglantine – there are a few other intriguing choices. Renee Zellweger’s just-in-time-for-Halloween horror flick Case 39 includes a little girl named Lillith. In Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, we learn that Gordon Gekko named his daughter Winnie. And Ben Affleck’s The Town is generating buzz for other reasons, but also gives us two to consider – a criminal named James who answers to Jem, and Jem’s niece, a little girl called Shyne.

As for the starbaby round up – it’s a girl. And a girl, and a girl …:

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That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading!

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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  1. ok this might be a random question but how do most of you pronounce Madeline? I knew a girl who was a Mad-e-line but I get the impression that most of the world is using Mad-e-lyn with the madeline spelling. Could someone clear this up for me? I dont personally know any little Maddy’s so Im wondering how other people are pronouncing the name.

    1. I say Madeline as Mad-uh-line, because I don’t know why else you would spell it that way. I normally say Madeleine as -lyn, but wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me they pronounce it -line.

    2. I pronounce it mad-uh-lyn, no matter how it’s spelled. I’m mostly influenced by the La Madeleine restaurants, but I’ve also heard the spongy cookies pronounced the same way.

      Another observation: I figured that Juddefrey was a mashup of Jude and Jeffrey. I’d guess that it’s jude-free or jude

      1. You may be right about the parents choosing it as a formal name for Jude instead of Judah or … well, I can’t think of another one off the top of my head. It could also be a way to get to the nickname Jud(d) – like Charlotte suggested, there’s a sort of Judson option in there, too.

      2. I hadn’t really considered Jude because of the double d. Jude-frey, Jude-frey, Jude-frey — no, still don’t like it.

    3. I pronounce Madeline Mad-a-lyn, mostly because that’s how I’ve heard almost everyone else say it that way. I prefer the Madeleine spelling which I pronounce Mad-a-line and I hate the nickname Maddy (I know tons of them too. Used to work at a daycare like 2 years ago and there were 3 Maddie’s/Maddy’s. There were 2 Madisons and 1 Maddison) so if I ever use Madeleine for a child or a story character, it will be a middle name.

      And I kind of like Genevie. I had to do a double take on that one at first. I was like “Did he really mean ‘Genevieve?'” Sounds very pretty either way. I’d love to name a child of mine Genevieve (nicknames Eve or Evie) but it doesn’t work with my last name so I might just settle for Geneva instead or use Genevieve as a middle name. Lol. I’m totally liking Geneva Catherine Rose right now.

      I love Mariana too. Glad to see someone using a name other than Ava or Isabella for once. Olivia is cute and all, but way overexposed. I actually know tons of them (and have 2 cousins who have it as their middle names), plus an Alyvia, and an Oliviana, not sure of the spelling on that one though.

  2. Just wanted to toot my own horn:

    My son Peregrine Joseph was born this week. He was 5 lbs 7 oz, and is, I must say, absolutely perfect!

    Thanks to Appellation Mountain for your post on Peregrine of last year–it is an old family name–my husband’s great great great grandfather–and that App Mtn post and the comments attached to it was pivotal in convincing me to go for it.

    1. Congratulations! I’m so, so happy for you and your family.

      And you’re really too kind. Peregrine Joseph is a GREAT name. It is so cool that you have your family tree going back so many generations. With that kind of history, you just had to use something from your past. 🙂

      1. Congratulations! I LOVE the name Peregrine! I read a book when I was younger called The Hawk and the Dove whose main character’s name was Peregrine (a great Young Adult book, by the way, not at all the trashy romance it sounds from the title). It was the first time I’d encountered the name and it’s had positive associations ever since.

  3. Is Juddefrey a male name or female? On first glance I assumed it was male, but now I’m wondering.

    I’m still struggling to become less judgemental of names. I find that I’m at the stage right now where I’m coming across more and more [in my opinion] weird, made-up names, as well as more and more creative spellings of beautiful, classic names. I admit that I’m having a hard time accepting these trends. Lecandro isn’t bad — it at least sounds like a real name — but I keep wanting to put an accent at the bottom of that c and pronounce it “Lessandro”.

    Alliterative names, now that’s something that I’m quite fond of. Our last name begins with m, which makes Mark’s name alliterative. And while we don’t plan on giving any of our children names that begin with that letter, we did call our daughter Roseanna Ruth. There’s a possibility that we may add an alliterative element to our next child’s name.

    1. I just looked up the article on wall decals and saw that Juddefrey is indeed a boy’s name. It still sounds like “judy free” to me when said quickly.

      1. I’m getting a very Judy Free vibe, too. And yeah, I try not to judge, but then I see Juddefrey and … well, I’m not judging, but I’m definitely raising an eyebrow and waiting for the story.

        Who knows … I may discover it on a list of old medieval variations of Geoffrey and then I’ll have to take it back.

      2. I hadn’t thought of that! It’s true, that there were a lot more “frey” names back in the day. I just assumed that Juddefrey was a combination of Judson and Geoffrey, but I could very well be wrong.

    2. Charlotte Vera, my thoughts exactly, thank you! I am currently struggling to not be judgemental of names, but I feel like people don’t care about the burden they place on a child when they choose a ‘creative’ spelling or a totally made up name just because it ‘sounds cool’ or ‘looks different’. One trend that I absolutely cannot get behind is Neveah. If it’s heaven spelled backwards then doesn’t it mean hell?! *Sigh* To each their own I guess…

  4. I actually chuckled out loud at your commentary on Tatelyn.

    For your Maddie/Maddy, etc. tally, I know 4 Maddy’s (all with ys). I may have mentioned before, but my previous place of employment had contained just 25 employees, of which 3 had daughters (not including me). And the three daughters’ names? Madison, Madeleine, and Madeline – all Maddys. (Madison was eventually joined by a younger sister, Cassie.) The boy names were more varied (including a Finn, a Maximus, and a Banks named for the Outer Banks of NC)… but boys outnumbered girls there nearly 3 to 1. The fourth Maddy is a classmate of my daughter.

    I have to say Juddefrey doesn’t do anything in the way of positive for me. Genevie looks like it is missing the ending, I can’t say I like it much.

    Speaking of the Ellie/Ella names… Imogen, not surprisingly, has a classmate Ella, but more interesting, our regular pet sitter for when we get to go away is a M@rdella. It’s a new one to me… (personally, it makes me think of mortadella), but I thought I’d mention it as it’s one of the most unique and intriguing names I’ve run across in a long time.

  5. To me, Claire Emerson and Ellis Catherine are different enough, although I’d never pick Ellis for a girl.

    It’s just another way to get to Ellie, right? I guess every girl in class technically will have a different name, but half will answer to Ellie and the other half to Maddy.

  6. I’m so with you on becoming less judgmental about names. I don’t write about them, but I do read and hear so many names. I’ve found that just because it’s not something I would pick, I can still appreciate it for what it is. And there are countless absolutely gorgeous names that just don’t happen to be my taste. Names like Juddefrey, though? I kinda judge that.

    My niece Madison is a Madi. She’s the only one I’ve ever heard of spelling it that way, but it really does make the most sense. I spelled it wrong for a few years, but I’m sort of excused in that she’s my husband’s niece and I didn’t meet him until she was 3 or 4, and even my mother in law spelled it wrong until Madi’s mother finally corrected us! She must have been so annoyed!

    I don’t know if you mentioned it in last week’s summary, but in Keri Russell’s new show Running Wilde she has a daughter named… Puddle.

      1. Yeah, just at least watch one episode to see the name in action! She’s a cool little kid, so she makes the name work somehow. When they first introduced her I thought “PUDDLE?!?!?!” But it is sort of believable that her mom would choose it… and it doesn’t seem quite as ridiculous as it should. This is where the not judging names comes in, haha.